Fresh concerns over security in Parliament after terror attack simulation reveals dozens could be killed

Posted On: 
27th August 2017

A security exercise found terrorists could break into Parliament and kill dozens of people within a matter of minutes. 

Reviewers recommended installing a barrier in the River Thames
Credit: 
PA Images

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the simulation, which took place earlier this year and assumed entry from the River Thames, found attackers could have enough time to murder up to 100 people.

“We are sitting ducks,” one source who had seen the results of the tests told the newspaper.

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An official reviewer has called for a permanent barrier to be set up in the river to reduce the risk, while an armed officer is currently charged with stopping any illegal entrances from the water.

Officials are also said to be concerned about the potential vulnerability of an area of fencing that is just 3 feet high.

The exercise took place at night when MPs and peers were in recess.

It involved security officers entering the estate from the river before going through the corridors of the Palace and then storming the House of Commons.

News of the simulation emerges five months after terrorist Khalid Masood breached the perimeter of Parliament and stabbed to death one of the police officers, before being shot dead just yards into the estate. He had already killed four people by driving his car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge. 

A spokesperson for the Houses of Parliament said: “The security of Members, staff and the visiting public is our highest priority. While we cannot comment on the specifics of our security, we work closely with the police, security services and others to ensure that our security measures are effective and meet whatever level of security risk Parliament faces. These measures are always, and will continue to be, under constant review."